By Edmond Y. Azadian
When influential publications such as the Christian Science Monitor or Newsweek decided to drop their print versions and survive in an online format only, many people began writing the obituary of print media. But when the New York Times released the global issue of its 200-plus-page weekly magazine (by “reimagining a magazine”) one is reminded of Mark Twain’s famous quote, “the reports about my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
In the February 22, 2015 issue of the “reimagined magazine,” we read: “This magazine is 119 years old; nearly four million people read it in print every weekend. It did not need to be dismantled, sawed into pieces or drilled full of holes. Instead, we have set out to honor the shape of the magazine as it has been, while creating something that will, we hope, strike you as a version you have not read before … ideas about the relationship between print and digital and animating it all, a new spirit of inquiry that is subversive and sincere.”
We at the helm of Armenian publications have faced the dilemma of going digital or continuing still with the print version of our publications. When we approach potential donors to solicit funds, we are often told that Armenian publications are still in the dark ages and they have to be propelled into the digital era. Yet, when publications like the Times still explore “new ideas about the relationship between print and digital,” it means that Armenian publications are not out of pace with the new technological developments. Many weeklies or dailies have already stepped onto a stage where they provide a kind of amphibious exposure to the readership, both in print form and online. Technology has helped to enhance the print media and will continue to do so for some time.
There is also an unmentioned truth about the Armenian publications. No matter how much they try to appeal to the younger generation, the majority of the readership is mostly older in age, and tend to be those who have missed the digital fever. (Of course, like many diasporan publications, we do have a website [www.mirrorspectator.com] and a presence on social media.)